UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Respiratory Abnormalities in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Keywords: traumatic brian injury, TBI, respirations, cheyne-stokes, hyperventilation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/22/2008 by Aisha Liferidge, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
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  • Respiratory drive can be affected by injury to certain parts of the brain.  This is often seen in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • In the setting of TBI, recognizing abnormalities in respirations can be helpful in localizing the injury.
  • Cheyne-Stokes respiration, in which breathing is rapid for a period and then absent for a period, is associated with injury to the cerebral hemispheres or diencephalon.
  • Hyperventilation can occur when the brain stem or tegmentum is injured.